In the United Kingdom, long-term food sustainability is a rising concern. The country/island imports over 43% of its food, majority of which comes from countries with lower environmental and labor standards compared to the UK.
This has led to existential concerns about the impact of the UK’s import habits on global food security and sustainable development. The government has responded by setting up a number of schemes to increase awareness of these issues among businesses, consumers, and policymakers.
- Establishing an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change work focusing on agriculture, fisheries, forestry, food security, and nutrition.
- Forcing large companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions.
- Supporting voluntary measures such as carbon labeling schemes for foods
- Funding progressive research into more sustainable farming practices.
It is estimated that 10 million tonnes of avoidable food is wasted each year in Britain – worth £20 billion ($25 billion). Much of this waste occurs at supermarkets or in households. In order to reduce this amount of waste, both individual consumers and businesses need to be conscious about how much they’re buying or producing relative to what they actually need or will use. Reusable packaging models are being experimented with as one way to motivate people to think about the resources required to package daily consumables like water/coffee well as soft drinks sold in vending machines.
You can learn more about how the United Kingdom is building a more sustainable future at the Sustainability Conference held at Leeds University in the summer of 2022. The conference is free to attend and you will get an opportunity to listen to academics who have been researching food sustainability. It will be hosted at the Leeds University Business School, just off Moorland Road. If you need a place to stay overnight, Radisson Blue is 10 minute’s walk away, in the city centre. This is also where you will find Barclays Bank, shopping centres, art gallery Leeds and the infamous Trinity Leeds.
A full Map of the location and nearby amnesties is attached below: